Council supports National Empty Homes Week
10 Feb 2021
National Empty Homes week is 15 – 21 February this year. This is an opportunity for local authorities across the country to raise the profile of empty homes and highlight the work being done to reduce the number of long-term empty homes.
Horsham District Council takes a pro-active approach to reducing the number of long-term empty homes within the District.
The Council works with owners and developers to look at ways properties can be brought back into sustainable use, often after being unoccupied for an extended period. Within the Horsham District there are around 550 homes that have been empty for six months or longer. The Council is keen to bring as many properties back into use to ease local housing shortages.
Homes left empty long term can be a blight on the neighbourhood and attract anti-social behaviour. There can be emotional and complex reasons homes may be left empty, but there are many incentives to turn an empty house into a future home.
The biggest incentive for bringing the home back into use is to gain regular rental income from letting, or a lump sum from selling your property.
The Council’s Environmental Health team can offer empty homeowners advice and information on the options available to help bring homes back into use. This includes grant assistance if improvement work is needed for the empty home, or the services of our Lettings team who has families looking for homes to rent in this area.
The Council also works in partnership with the Sussex YMCA to offer a leasing scheme to owners of empty homes as an alternative to improving or letting the property themselves.
Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing commented Cllr Tricia Youtan:
It is crucial that we continue to maintain a robust empty homes strategy, taking a positive approach to tackling empty homes in the private housing sector.
“Empty properties are wasted homes, when we have increasing numbers of people facing the threat of homelessness.”
“With a shortage of housing in our area, giving pre-loved empty homes a new lease of life to create a new home for a family, with the added attraction of either a regular rental income or a healthy lump sum for the owner, makes not only good economic sense, but is also great news for our community as a whole”.
Cllr Tricia Youtan, Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing
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